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'American Idol' Judges Discuss America's Top 8 Vote, Katy as Ursula and more

American Idols, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan
Photo: ABC
It was Disney Night for the "American Idol" as the hopefuls were visited by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and the rest of the Magic Kingdom's family came to watch The top 10 contestants perform songs from the Disney catalog.   

Last year's winner and runner-up Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson returned to sing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, Lea Michele joined the Top10 for a fun group number while Rebel Wilson served as a mentor for the Top 10.

In true Disney fashion and what will most likely become a tradition, Katy appeared on stage dressed in a full Ursula costume from "The Little Mermaid" after appearing as Snow White during last year's Disney Night show. 

"I worked with one of my long-time costume designers and we were going over what I could be," Katy told reporters backstage after the show. "I could be Sebastian from the Little Mermaid, Ariel or Ursala. And I was like I think I'm going to do this. Ursala doesn't always get, actually it's a little hard playing a villain. I'm tired. I'm not a good villain. I always want to be joyful." 

This was the first the show used the live real-time vote nationwide to select their favorites. 

Performances tonight included:

Alejandro Aranda – “Remember Me” from “Coco”

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon – “Candle on the Water” from “Pete’s Dragon”

Walker Burroughs – “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2”

Laine Hardy – “Oo-De-Lally” from “Robin Hood”

Uché – “Eye to Eye” from “A Goofy Movie”

Laci Kaye Booth – “I See the Light” from “Tangled”

Wade Cota – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from “Toy Story”

Dimitrius Graham – “You’ll Be in My Heart” from “Tarzan”

Alyssa Raghu – “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas”

Madison VanDenburg – “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”

The contestants voted into the Top 8 by America were Alejandro, Jeremiah, Laci, Laine, Walker, Wade, Alyssa, and Madison.  That left Uche and Dimitrius Graham out unless the judges unanimously voted to keep one of them into next week. Did the judges use the one save they have to use the whole season on one of these two? No, they did not.

So why didn't Dimitrius or Uche get the judges' save? 

"Let me tell you something. This is that time in the show when you have to listen to what America says," Lionel told TVMusic Network backstage after the show. "And America is telling us exactly what they want. We figure now something is going to happen in the next three weeks with that group of 8 and we are going to have to save somebody. We don't want to throw it away now. And look at who is left. I waited until the last minute to say no. It was just that tedious." 

"America also said the same things about the same ones twice," Katy added. "So we saved them last week." 

Adds Luke, "When America does something that truly shocks us, that's when we'll step in."

 Next ABC will air “American Idol: Meet Your Finalists,” a two-hour “American Idol” special episode on Monday, April 22.  The special will take a deep dive into each finalist’s journey on “American Idol” thus far, highlighting new, never-before-seen songs, stories, performances and footage from “American Idol,” as well as revisiting favorite moments from this season. America will have a chance to get to know each finalist individually as they share their stories in hopes of capturing America’s heart and their vote on Monday, April 22 at 8:00 p.m. on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. 

Live performance shows and real-time live voting will resume with an all-new episode on Sunday, April 28 when the Idols get mentored by "American Idol" alum Adam Lambert and perform the music of Queen. 

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